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CES 2022

Convergence, metaverse, green: Korea Inc.’s themes at CES 2022

Samsung stresses mobility, robots while Hyundai highlights metaverse; industrial barriers collapse

By Jan 04, 2022 (Gmt+09:00)

Samsung Electronics displays a robotic arm at CES 2022
Samsung Electronics displays a robotic arm at CES 2022

South Korea’s major companies are showcasing robots, mobility and the metaverse rather than cutting-edge models of their conventional products such as smartphones or TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022.

Samsung Electronics Co. plans to focus on robots and mobility, while Hyundai Motor Co. is set to present metaverse and robots at the world’s largest tech event to be held Jan. 5-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), indicating the start of technology convergence and collapsing barriers between industries.

The Korea Economic Daily on Jan. 2 visited the exhibition booths of major South Korean companies setting up ahead of the opening of the CES 2022. All of them are showcasing different products but share some same core concepts – technology convergence, augmented reality (AR) and the metaverse. Green is also an overriding motif. 

“The core theme of this year’s CES is the synergy created by converging seemingly unrelated technologies,” said a participant. “The common goal of participating companies is to expand the realm of experience by connecting reality and the metaverse.”

MOBILITY, ROBOTS, GREEN

Samsung's booth is in the middle of the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, prime real estate at CES 2022. South Korea’s tech giant most prominently presented mobility-related products – suggesting Samsung is not a company that only sells consumer IT goods and home appliances – although it is also preparing to feature other items such as smartphones and TVs.


As part of its exhibition, it will offer visitors the experience of being driven in a self-driving car through AR technology. Nearby, a robotic arm will frequently change Galaxy foldable smartphones to display a different color of the phone. 

For the show, Samsung has constructed a living space full of its Bespoke appliances, as well as a green space. Company officials at the site said it focused more on promoting consumer experience and its brand value than highlighting specific products in an era of technology convergence.
LG Electronics will unveil a delivery robot at CES 2022
LG Electronics will unveil a delivery robot at CES 2022

LG Electronics Inc., one of the world’s largest TV makers, took an unprecedented direction. The South Korean home appliances producer has not created a super-large display in line with the company’s symbol. Instead, it has built a resting place decorated with eco-friendly wood. Everything – the floor, stands, information boards and chairs – was made with recycled wood such as plywood made by compressing wood scraps without adhesive, paint or varnish, according to company officials.

LG is slated to showcase its new products through AR since many visitors will be familiar with the metaverse.

“The offline space is just to show the company’s eco-friendly direction,” said a company source.

SK Group, South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate, decorated its exhibition booth in shades of white and green as the group chose carbon reduction as their theme at CES. Its display features a video of forests, and real trees are also part of the installation. At the show, SK Telecom Co. plans to unveil SAPEON, an artificial intelligence semiconductor that sharply reduces power consumption.
SK Group's booth at CES 2022
SK Group's booth at CES 2022

Among foreign companies, Sony Corp. is preparing to showcase new TVs and other home appliances, while TCL is working on an exhibition of smartphones and displays. Bosch, the German auto parts maker, presented a product with mobility technology to connect inside and outside a vehicle.

HYUNDAI DOMINATES WEST HALL

Automakers and heavy industry makers settled in the West Hall of the LVCC, the new exhibition area that opened last year. It cost $1 billion to build the 130,000-square-meter hall.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s top automaker, and Stellantis N.V., a Dutch-domiciled multinational carmaker, are in the spotlight since some of their competitors such as General Motors Co., Mercedes-Benz and Audi canceled in-person presence at the trade show.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Group was also setting up an exhibition booth for its debut at CES. The world’s largest shipbuilder filled its booth with future industry-related products such as robots and wind power generators.

“The West Hall is dominated by Hyundai,” said a worker setting up the booth. “This CES will boost South Korean companies’ presence.”

The North Hall, once the main area for mobility companies, was occupied by robots, AI and healthcare companies including South Korea’s software company Hancom Inc.

The LVCC will offer Loop, an all-electric, zero-emissions and high-speed underground public transportation system, developed by Tesla Inc.’s CEO Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, to connect the West, Central and South Halls. Visitors can travel in Tesla’s electric vehicles between halls using Loop.

Write to Byung-Uk Do, Su-Bin Lee and Min-Ki Koo at dodo@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.
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